Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Friday, 26 August 2011
After worrying that they’d disappeared into the great void of my attic/junk store, never to be seen again, I finally found the little box containing a trio of ballast hopper kits that I built for Model Rail magazine a few years ago. Consisting of two Genesis Kits whitemetal vehicles and a plastic Cambrian Models product, each one took a good while to refine and finish, so it’s a relief that they’ve turned up safe and well. Not least as I’ve been thinking about adding to their ranks having recently, especially as I've had a few ideas about upgrading the Hornby SHARK brake van that will be a perfect tailpiece for this short P’way rake...
...another project in the ‘to do’ pile!
I was chuffed to hear Shaun Keaveney give this Blog a 'shout out' on his breakfast show on BBC 6Music this morning. That was a pleasant surprise. Mrs D had sent in a text on the subject of cars with pet names, with a mention of the much lamented Milly Molly Micra, the 'multicoloured beauty' - as described on a post from July. Quite a bizarre feeling to hear your car's name and blog details being broadcast in between Noel Gallagher and The Waterboys. I almost spat out my corn flakes!
You can listen to the programme online for the next 7 days - click this link. It's at about 1h12mins or so...
We're big fans of Shaun. His unique northern Lancs humour is very appealing; very dry. He plays some cracking music too.
The Genesis Catfish builds into a lovely model, although it needs a little extra work to get the best out of it. New buffers (MJT) and etched handwheels (Mainly Trains) are a real improvement. The angle iron hopper braces have been replaced with Evergreen plastic, as the original whitemetal castings are pretty awkward.
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Sunday, 21 August 2011
Friday, 19 August 2011
The Bachmann model, probably the best ready-to-run ‘37’ yet, is actually a limited edition run of BR blue 37003, produced on behalf of the Class 37 Locomotive Group. You can buy your own factory-spec limited edition model, or alternatively you can send a sealed bid to win this super-detailed and weathered loco, with all funds going towards the restoration of the real 37003.
It’s been a joy to work on this model and I hope whoever wins the auction enjoys running the model on their layout (or regarding it on a shelf!). It’s always a nice feeling when a restoration group can raise some much-needed funds from selling a bespoke model. Let’s hope the real 37003 is soon restored to full order so that she can be enjoyed by enthusiasts for years to come.
For full details of how to bid for the model or to order your own Bachmann model – or just to drool over loads of lovely images of real ‘37s’ - simply go to www.c37lg.co.uk.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Having been awoken at an un-Godly hour by my slightly poorly dog, I thought I'd spend a few hours putting in a bit of work on my N gauge layout project, concentrating mostly on the small allotment site. The vegetation has received a few final flourishes and some suitable figures have been added. I’d originally ‘planted’ bushes around the perimeter, but with the surrounding land earmarked as grazing pasture, I thought a fence might be more secure against any eager herbivores.
The allotments are created using the various packs of castings from Timecast Models (see a review in Model Rail soon), which are available either pre-finished or unpainted. I’ve used a mix of both, although only the compost bins and cold frames have been left in their supplied painted finish. In order to blend in the four different sections (well, 3 and 3 quarters to be exact), I seated them into a bed of wet plaster, cleaning up the excess and filling the gaps at the same time.
The scarecrow and figures are from Langley Models and, once painted, look pretty good. The dog, by the way, is a 2mm scale version of our own Pepper, the white Collie, and the seated chap is meant to me, as that’s what I do on our real allotment – sit and reflect on what jobs need doing!
When dry, the whole lot was painted with a mix of Tamiya textured acrylic paints that give a highly realistic soil effect. When this too was dry, I painted the raised details to represent various plants and added tiny fragments of Woodland Scenics bushes and foliage to give a better representation of a successful allotment.
Adding blooms to the strawberry beds and fruit trees, plus the squash and courgette plants, using tiny blobs of acrylic paints, adds the finishing touch. It also sets the scene in mid to late summer, which is perfect for this idyllic slice of England around August 1961, somewhere in the West Country. In 2mm scale… I also picked up some useful N gauge stock from the MR office yesterday, including a lovely Farish GWR diesel railcar - just the thing for this tiny layout!
The Timecast Models allotments provide a great basis for a highly realistic set of veg plots. They’re available in many different formats, including sheds, cold frames, compost bins and water butts.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
After my enjoyable visit to Hazel Grove Model Railway Society's open day, back in June (see Blog post for June), the Society's website now has a selection of images from that day, including a good look at some of the layouts that the society runs. Walmington, a finescale OO layout based in the East Anglian coast was particularly impressive (see image above), as was the 'in progress' Smethurst Junction.